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Spirit Of Gift: Charles Eisenstein Posted by Audrey Lin, Aug 15 2012 A gift. It is a simple gesture of care. Like an open palm, it is an invitation to connect—an emblem of support, respect, or well wishes for someone else. But can it be more than that? Can gifts restructure our monetary system? What does it mean to live in a gift-economy?  On last Saturday's Forest Call, we got to hear Charles Eisenstein share insights, visions, and stories from his own personal journey with a gift-economy. Not only does he write and speak extensively on the topic, he uses his own life as a fertile ground to walk his talk. While raising three kids, he’s written three books, many essays, gone broke, faced his fears around money, and learned the gifts of receiving. Throughout it all, Charles is someone who has really walked the edges of his

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Sara Schairer: How To Compassion It Posted by Audrey Lin, Jun 28 2013 Five years ago, she found herself facing an unwanted divorce, taking care of her young daughter, and looking for a job in an economic recession. Seeking out purpose in a new direction, the concept of compassion caught her attention. In this Awakin Call, Sara Schairer poignantly shares the inspiration, ignition, and insights from her adventures in birthing a compassion revolution. Janis: Yours really is one of those black-and-white, before-and-after stories. So, could you tell us a bit about the before part of the story, and then what happened to change your life? Sara: Five years ago, I was 31 years old, and facing the most difficult time of my life. I had an 18-month old daughter, and I was a stay-at-home mom, facing an unwanted a divorce. I was really a wreck. A years befor

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Sachi Maniar: Blooming Where Planted Posted by Audrey Lin, Jul 04 2013 “Today, what I believe is my truth for today. Tomorrow, it may change, but at least if that’s what I believe today, I should give it my all,” Sachi tells us. Every once in awhile, you might meet someone who’s really seeking something more out of life. Who asks questions that are so genuine, it disarms you. Or who lives so wholeheartedly, it makes you wonder about your own life choices. Sachi Maniar is one of those people. In this Awakin Call moderated by Amit and Rahul, our own Sachmo (as she is lovingly called) reflects candidly on the trials and tribulations of living a life aligned to service. Amit: In 2003, you had traveled to the war-torn areas of Jammu and Kashmir, and you ended up shooting your first documentary film out there, under some v

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A Numinous Nomad's Experiments In Truth Posted by Audrey Lin, Jul 13 2013 In the summer of 2003, Scaughdt (pronounced “Scott”) had reached a dead end. After many years of reading and philosophizing about truth and “the meaning of life,” his life still felt meaningless. After a series of experiments in his values of giving and generosity, today, he lives as a pilgrim, or, in his own words, a “numinous nomad”. Having given away almost all of his material possessions, and with no home of his own, he travels from community to community offering himself as an instrument of service wherever he ends up. He accepts no reimbursement for his deeds. Just the intention of sharing joy with all whom he encounters. In this conversation moderated by fellow pilgrim and previous Awakin Call guest, Mony Dojeiji, Scaughdt shares insigh

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Laura Lavigne: Clear Skies And A Chance Of Joy Posted by Audrey Lin, Jul 26 2013 For Laura Lavigne, life holds the magic of a treasure hunt. A keeper of small moments, a spreader of joy, a mother, a dreamer, a doer, not to mention a French baker, Laura is a bright splash of color on any canvas. And she’s walked down quite a multifaceted road along the way. In this Awakin Call conversation with Afreen, she shares stories and lessons from her experiences working as a make-up artist to turning down corporate sponsorship, tossing out her well-rehearsed TEDx speech for spontaneity’s sake, and, time and time again, meeting strangers from the heart. Afreen: What drives you? Laura: I think it started when I was really little. I remember telling my parents—I grew up in Paris, France, and my parents were really successful people. I remember telling

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David Levins: A Weaver Of Kind Voices Posted by Audrey Lin, Aug 16 2013 Ironically, in an age where we seem to be more connected than ever, research shows that we are lonelier than ever. Inspired by the writings of Thoreau, Steinbeck, and the teamwork of his community garden, David Levins decided to break down the barriers of isolation, one conversation at a time. In 2012, he initiated A Kind Voice, a nationwide, volunteer-run phone line where people call in anytime for one-on-one conversation. Simply for the sake of sharing and being kind to one another. In this Awakin Call conversation with Bela, we had the privilege of hearing David’s insights and stories from sowing seeds of down-to-earth, human-to-human connection. Bela Shah: Could you could share a bit about your background, particularly growing up in New York, the family and communi

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Infinite Possibilities On A Single Path Posted by Audrey Lin, Aug 29 2013 A peek into the life of Shwetha Sridharan is like delving into an adventure memoir—a colorful, playful, wholehearted and heartbreaking jigsaw of sights, smells, and sounds from around the globe, all woven together with a robust conviction to understand and serve the world’s unseen communities. From a late-night childhood encounter with burglary to weekly conversations with the homeless in college, a Sri Lankan fisherman’s plea: “Don’t forget us,” and decision to quit her Silicon Valley tech job to spend a year with an NGO in Bangalore, Shwetha’s rich stories and Rahul’s insightful moderation filled, wrestled, and lifted our hearts in this Awakin Call. Rahul Brown: In your early life, you grew up in Zambia. Can you share more about the c

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Rahul Brown: A Seeker's Journey From Me To We Posted by Audrey Lin, Sep 20 2013 From surfing the dot-com boom thrill ride of the late nineties to volunteering in Indian slums, creating films for social causes, learning nuances of love through his family, and pouring his heart out in small moments, such as wishing coworkers well amid a heated argument and caring for an emaciated man he found lying in a gutter, Rahul’s journey has been a full-fledged dive into questions of authenticity and service, money and values. In this Awakin Call conversation moderated by Amit, our own Rahul Brown shares a spectrum stories from his experiences as a young start-up success story turned discerning filmmaker, paradigm-shifting thinker, playful father, and generous friend. Amit Dungarani: There was a documentary you starred in recently called Money and Life, and y

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Keidi Keating: Re-Awakening Your Inner Spark Posted by Audrey Lin, Oct 03 2013 “There was definitely something inside me as a child that wanted to help give back,” Keidi tells us, “But that really got lost as I got older. Just with the materialistic elements of life, I suppose you kind of forget who you really are.” As she grew into her twenties, Keidi Keating found herself living in Spain, running a successful magazine business, and moving through her days with a creeping sense of misalignment. After a two-year period of intense soul-searching, paralyzing bouts of depression, and a sincere yearning for purpose, she stopped and asked for a sign. So began a journey that would lead her to publish a book, The Light, launch The Light Network, and move her feet in tune to a greater rhythm—one that serves others while transforming herself a

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